We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To me, the term refers to perseverance against daunting obstacle, daunting resistance, laziness, self-indulgence, or compelling temptation. Finishing what you start. It used to be called "character strength."
Studying late at night for a Chem exam, resisting a donut, keeping climbing when your legs say "No," doing one more bench rep when your arms say "I can't", saying "Hi" to a pretty girl who is too good for you, giving your exasperating guitar practice one more half hour, bucking up for one more damn intimidating job interview, getting through a pile of paperwork. A doctor once told me that the toughest person he knew was a agoraphobic and social phobic who by sheer willpower forced herself to leave her house and re-enter society despite her terror.
Everybody wants to fight against his own limitations, fears, flaws, and weaknesses, and nobody wants to feel mentally or physically weak.
When I consider mental toughness I think of warriors facing a wall of spears or machine guns, but in our (or my) pampered and decadent American life we often have to go out of our way to seek out character tests and character challenges. We can easily avoid most of them if we wish to, but our life is diminished by it.
I think shame, self-disgust, and self-disappointment are some of the unpleasant consequences of confronting some of our weaknesses and limitations. It is failure, and we know it.
My genius trainer and I were discussing the topic a while ago. I told him that part of his added value to me was lending his mental strength to me. When my arms say "No," and he says "Two more - you can do it" - I do it. Alone, I "couldn't." That's my mental weakness. So we can gain strength from relationship. That's part of why marriage is so valuable. Friends, too.
He said that group exercise training works well not so much because of the competition but because of the combined spirit of effort, the esprit de corps. Of course, that group effect is an essential part of military training too. He says the reason most people fail in fitness programs is for lack of spirit and determination, not muscle.
I suppose good habits of toughness and perseverance can be nurtured from within from practice and from without with support and cheerleading. My mental toughness is not good enough to make me happy with myself, and probably never will be.
Here's a Grit Quiz.Not sure if such personality traits are measurable really, or whether they are even traits. Sometimes I have plenty of grit, sometimes very little.
There are some decisions you get to make once in life. Losing weight and getting fit are not among them. These decisions you make at every meal, every time you go to the gym, and every time you walk past the bakery.
With time, making these decisions becomes not so much easier, but more of a habit, and this habit eventually gets to be more and more ingrained.
Another guy named Dan
Been with a group of neighborhood guys doing high intensity interval training for 3 years. We constantly text and make fun of it, otherwise would never stick with the program. Its the only way to go at this point, in my opinion.
I find that it requires more mental toughness to do the things I want to do, less mental toughness to do the things I think I have to do. Have for some time now been moving the want to do's to the have to do column and it's working out nicely.